Tag Archives: musk lorikeet

Dry Creek by the Junction

31 May

Dry Creek by the Junction

Dear Reader:

Yes, an ant is an ant, but in Australia some ants are just that little bit more! Inch ants or bulldog ants live up to their name and reputation. Solitary hunters that still live in communal nests they have a fearsome bite and relentless disposition. This one is hunting late on a cool autumn afternoon scouring a eucalypt trunk for prey. I watch carefully as it systematically probes under the bark for any hapless invertebrate that is sheltering or hibernating. Seeing a bulldog ant at this time of year seems strange, perhaps a late burst of warm weather woke the colony up. The vagaries of nature are always fascinating.

 

Bulldog ant hunting

 

I am exploring the section of Dry Creek which flows between the intersection of Grand Junction Road and Nelson Road through to Walkley’s Road. It can be accessed behind ‘The Junction’ shopping centre. The creek twist and turns along this part of its length and is bordered by walking and bike trails. There are some deep pools, a ford and a small footbridge which all facilitate wildlife viewing and photography. Throw in a nice bakery at the shopping area and you have the makings of a perfect walk.

 

Dry Creek

 

The little footbridge which spans the river is an ideal place to watch for wildlife. It is high on the banks and provides a good vantage point for peering into the treetops. Today it is the surface of the water that catches my attention. The tell-tale V shaped ripples of a water rat swimming across the creek are an unexpected bonus on my walk. I have rarely seen the elusive little rodents in Dry Creek and to know that they are present is quite a treat. Water rats or rakalis are a native species with a broad head, webbed feet and a white tip to the tail. They feed on aquatic insects, yabbies, molluscs, frogs and small fish.

 

Australian water rat swimming

 

 

 

Further along the path there is a break in the bushes and trees that envelop the sides of the creek and I can get good access to the water’s edge.  A little pied cormorant is sitting on a log directing its gaze into a long pool before continuing to hunt amongst the reeds along the water’s edge. On my walk back I see the same bird with its wings outstretched drying them between forays into the creek to hunt. Cormorants do not have waterproofing oils to protect their plumage like some waterbirds and therefore must continually dry out their feathers.   

 

 

little pied cormorant

 

Near one of the fords there are some massive river red gums shading the creek bed and I can hear the raucous screech of lorikeets in the highest branches. A quick look through the telephoto lens helps me to identify them as musk lorikeets. These social little birds seem to have found something to feed on in the canopy. There are no blossoms on the trees so I can only assume that it is some form of insect life.

 

Musk lorikeet

 

My walk has been most rewarding as I have encountered a wide range of animals from aquatic mammals and predatory insects through to brightly coloured parrots in the treetops. Only the bakery to go and I can mark today down as more than a little successful.

 

Cheers

Baz

 

Additional notes

This is an easy walk which is quite suitable for families and seniors with food outlets, parking and other facilities nearby.

 

 I have recently spent time in Africa and the link below will allow you to enjoy images and text describing some of my encounters with the wonderful wildlife of Botswana and Zambia. I will attach a new image and notes to accompany each post.

https://wildlifemomentssa.blogspot.com

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A Walk through Victoria Park

14 Sep

A Walk through Victoria Park

 Dear Reader;

The little musk lorikeet has been hovering around the small opening in the trunk of a red gum for a few minutes. Suddenly another lorikeet appears and disappears down into the tree. They are obviously nesting here. I walk closer to the tree and listen. From deep inside I can hear the plaintive calls of the young chicks demanding food.

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Musk lorikeet

 I am walking around the old Victoria Park Racecourse which is now a recreation area bounded by gracious old houses, a creek, walking trails and stands of massive old gums as well as a variety of native shrubs and bushes. It is a wonderful space for people to enjoy a bike ride, walk or run, exercise their dog off lead or even fly model planes.

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Historic old racecourse stand

 

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Avenue of gums on the western perimeter

 From the car park at the south western edge of the park I take the path towards Greenhill Road which winds through a copse of massive old gums and thick tangles of bushes. There are white cheeked rosellas high in the branches and one pair seem to be staying close to a hollowed out limb some 10 metres above the ground. I’ll come back at another time and see if they have chosen it for a nesting site.

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Huntsman spider in bark crevice

 To get a better idea of the bird life I decide to spend a little time sitting quietly on a fallen log deep amongst the trees and bushes. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, the aforementioned log is also home to a large huntsman spider that scuttles for cover as my ‘butt’ approaches.

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White cheeked rosella

While the spider and I share our seating arrangements, a wide range of birds including- miners, mudlarks, crows, magpies and galahs-are active in the scrub around me. Wonderful for a photographer to capture some images; not so good for a spider who features on many of their menus.

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Police greys

Bidding adieu to ‘Boris’, I continue along the pathway. To my delight, my final encounter is not with native wildlife but a pair of police greys being ridden through the parklands.

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Spiny wattle variety with feeding fly

 Spend some time in our parklands during the spring. It really is the best time to enjoy the wildlife.

 

Cheers

Baz

Montacute’s Cherry Trail

10 Feb

Montacute’s Cherry Trail 

Dear Reader:

The two roos are huge. It is rare to see grey kangaroos this large quite so close to the suburbs. They are browsing by the side of a gravel track just off the main road. The male seems quite protective of the female looking intently at me while she continues to feed. But in truth both seem unfazed by my presence.

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Grey kangaroos

 

I am parked just near St Andrews Uniting Church where the tortuous curves of Corkscrew Road heads back down to the Torrens Gorge. Earlier I had driven up Montacute Road past the hills face suburbs of Newton and Athelstone. The road traversed The Black Hill Conservation Park as it followed the winding path of Fifth Creek to the little community of Montacute famous for its cherry orchards.

2  red St Pauls ANglican

St Andrew’s Church

 

Along the way I had stopped at several parking bays to access the park. Much to my surprise nearly every stop yielded a koala sighting. They were hanging in trees, nibbling leaves and one was even scuttling clumsily across the ground to a new arboreal refuge.

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Relaxed koala

 

After walking around the scrub near the church photographing butterflies and other insects I call in at Montacute Valley Orchards. I park near the farm shed and purchase a few kilos of cherries and some superb home-made ice cream. But my wildlife instincts are drawn to the birds that are frequenting the nearby fruit trees. There are lorikeets, miner birds and wattle birds feeding on cherries and apricots in the foliage as well as cockatoos and rosellas rummaging amongst the fallen fruit below the trees.

4 red meadow argus

Meadow argus butterfly

 

4 red musk lorikeet

Musk lorikeet in cherry tree

 

With a belly full of ice cream, a bag full of cherries and an SD card full of images I call it a day and drive back to the city via corkscrew Road and the Torrens Gorge.

5 One of the lovely hills properies that nestle in the valley

One of the lovely hills properties that nestle in the valley

 

Cheers

Baz

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